04 September 2012

Oven Malfunction, and A Foray Into Microwave Cuisine

 bake |bāk|verb [ with obj. ]
1. cook (food) by dry heat without direct exposure to a flame, typically in an oven or on a hot surface. (thanks, Apple dictionary.)

So, microwaving counts as baking? Ok, great.

Because my oven decided to quite working on Friday night, which I found out as I was preparing to bake another zucchini loaf while the kid was in bed and Tony was out to a work function. Apparently, I don't deal well with this type of disappointment, as I watched the oven-door reflection me turn into a cursing, floor-banging, foot-stomping mess. Yeah, wow. The foot stomping is what gets me, too. Maybe a part of me thought a kitchen appliance could be intimidated. When all failed and I was done glaring at inanimate objects, I pouted in front of a few episodes of Breaking Bad and sulked to bed. It was that bad.

On Saturday I woke up with 24 hours to go until a BBQ with eight other Americans, an Australian, and our collective brood of eight children. I'd planned on an elegant nectarine galette. With my classy plans thwarted, I turned to the stepchild of the kitchen: the microwave. We use it sort of often, but never for real cooking. It's for warming up last night's green curry (which was cooked on the stove), heating the baby's milk before bed, and cooking the occasional trashy food like ramen noodles. It's the appliance no one admits to using often, but not many (Americans) could live without.

I shamefully googled "microwave baking." And that galette turned into the down-by-the-river, double-wide version of itself and was re-birthed as a gingered raspberry-nectarine cobbler. In the microwave.

While the end result was by no means spectacular, it was far better than edible and looked darn pretty served up in my favorite pie dish. So, folks, it can be done. You can have your microwave and bake in it, too.

Happy Tuesday!


SOS Gingered Raspberry-Nectarine Cobbler... in the microwave
adapted from the Deseret News

fruit filling

  • 4 cups fresh nectarines, thinly sliced
  • 1/2 cup fresh or frozen raspberries
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 5 tsp cornstarch
  • 1/2 tsp ground each of nutmeg and cinnamon
  • 2 teaspoons freshly grated ginger
  • 1/3 cup water
biscuit topping
  • 3/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 2 Tbsp sugar
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 4 Tbsp butter
  • 1 egg yolk, beaten
  • 1/4 cup heavy cream
  1. In a microwave-safe pie dish or other similarly-sized glass baking dish, combine brown sugar, cornstarch, nutmeg, cinnamon, and ginger. Stir in water, then add fruit. Cook, uncovered, on 100 percent power (high) for 8-10 minutes or until liquid is thickened and bubbly and fruit is tender, stirring every 2 minutes.
  2. Meanwhile, for biscuit topping, in a medium mixing bowl stir together flour, sugar, and baking powder. Cut in butter until the mixture resembles coarse crumbs. Combine beaten egg yolk and cream; add all at once to dry ingredients. Stir just to moisten dry ingredients.
  3. Spoon topping onto hot filling, making 8-10 mounds around the edges of the casserole and leaving the center open. Cook, uncovered, on 50 percent power (medium) for 6 to 8 minutes or until done, giving the dish a half-turn once. (To check doneness, scratch the slightly wet surface of topping with a wooden toothpick. If done, a cooked texture will have formed underneath.) Serve warm with ice cream or light cream, if desired. Makes 8 servings.